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National Treasure 18

Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple, Yeongju
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Classification National Treasure 18
Name of Cultural Properties Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple, Yeongju
Quantity 1 Building
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age Middle Goryeo Period
Address Buseoksa Temple, 345, Buseoksa-ro, Buseok-myeon, Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Buseoksa Temple, located on the hillside of Bonghwangsan Mountain, was built by Buddhist monk Uisang in 676 (the 16th year of the reign of King Munmu of the Silla Dynasty) by royal order. According to Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), a woman who adored Uisang was transformed into a dragon and followed him to this area upon his return form a period of study in the Tang Dynasty. Then she defeated a band of thieves hiding out in this area before resting behind Muryangsujeon Hall. Muryangsujeon Hall was built as the main prayer hall of Buseoksa Temple, and now houses a statue of Amitabha Buddha. It was originally built during the reign of King Munmu (r. 661-681) of Silla, and Unfortunately, the hall was burnt down in 1358 (the 7th year of King Gongmin’s reign), but was reconstructed in 1376 (the 2nd year of King U’s reign), and then embellished with a multi-colored decorative painting during the reign of King Gwanghaegun (r. 1608-1623) of the Joseon Dynasty. An Amitabha Buddha is enshrined on the western wall of the hall, unlike other Buddhist temples in which Buddhist statues are usually placed at the center of the main hall. Muryangsujeon Hall is the second oldest wooden building in Korea next to Geungnakjeon Hall of Bongjeongsa Temple in Andong. With its graceful column bracket system, this hall is regarded as a standard structure for students of the structure and formality of traditional Buddhist architecture in Korea.